The role of virtual water flows in physical water scarcity: The case of central Asia

Miina Porkka*, Matti Kummu, Stefan Siebert, Martina Florke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Water scarcity in Central Asia was analyzed by using two water scarcity indices at the scale of sub-basin areas (SBAs): water stress index (consumption-to-availability ratio) and water shortage index (water availability per capita). These indices were calculated for a baseline scenario that included virtual water flows, and again for a scenario where international trade was eliminated, thus assessing the role of virtual water flows in water scarcity. Over 80% of the study area population suffers from water stress and approximately 50% from water shortage as well. Removing virtual water flows considerably decreased water scarcity for approximately half the population. Reducing the exports of water-intensive products could thus be an option, along with other more traditional measures, for alleviating water scarcity in Central Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWater and Security in Central Asia: Solving a Rubik's Cube
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781134923250
ISBN (Print)9780415826921
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2016
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


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